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There’s no secret that Troy Stecher would rather be competing in the NHL playoffs than doing anything else right now. The Richmond native impressed fans with his improving play and strong work ethic, seemingly establishing himself as a reliable defenceman in the NHL after an up-and-down 2017-18 season.
Alas, it’s a third straight season without the playoffs for the Vancouver Canucks and Stecher. But at least he’s keeping busy.
Along with a focus on getting better this offseason, Stecher is also concentrating on some off-ice goals. For starters, he’s joined Canadian company Mark’s “Most Well Worn Jacket” campaign, a cross-country effort that highlights “passionate Canadians dedicated to their work, family and community.”
The jacket is slated for several different stops across the country, as each wearer customizes it with their own custom patch.
Stecher’s patch is a green and blue hockey jersey with the number 51 on it, all obvious nods to his profession. There’s also a blue and orange ribbon, however, meant to signify the colours of MS and diabetes.
“My father has been a diabetic my entire life,” says Stecher as he sips from a bottle of water at Vanmag’s office. “And my step-sister is a year younger than I am, beautiful healthy young girl who just got diagnosed with MS. Two diseases without a cure, and I just wanted to try and use my platform to create awareness for those charities.”
It also ties into some longer-term goals that Stecher has in the way of giving back. He’s currently looking into hosting a charity golf tournament at his home course, Richmond Country Club. He plans to have it in either late July or early August.
“That’s how I was planning on creating awareness,” he notes. “A Lot of different groups and a lot of different individuals that are super supportive . Mark’s, my agency, my family, the Canucks organization, all coming together.”
It’s all part of an increasingly higher profile for the 25-year-old, who is starting to emerge as part of a young leadership group on the Canucks. “I think it gives me an opportunity to show the fanbase and public a different side of myself and that I’m not just this local kid that worked hard to get where he is,” says Stecher. “I’m not just hockey-crazed, I do also respect my family, they mean a lot to me and anytime I can give back to them it means to them. I don’t show my appreciation enough to my family, pretty private that way. But they do mean the world to me.”
Ask what it’s like being a young hockey player in a city obsessed with the sport, and Stecher’s humble side comes out. “I’m starting to get recognized a bit more, here and there, but I try to keep my private life pretty private,” he says. “usually just hanging out with my dog, hanging out with my girlfriend, golfing in the offseason.”
Of course, there are two individuals that add to Stecher’s recognizability quotient: “When I’m with my dog I might get recognized a bit more.” That’s a nod to the player’s social media presence, which is filled with photos of his pup. She’s become such a star that a fan actually painted a photo of Stecher’s dog and gave it to him on fan appreciation day. “Or when I’m with Brock . Brock and I are pretty tight friends and when we’re in the city he’s a pretty recognizable individual, so people put two and two together. But I think my baby face hides my identity a little bit.”
As for his on-ice goals, Stecher hopes to do exactly that, score some more goals. “I want to improve my shot. It’s no secret; I think that’s where everyone knows I need to improve, putting some mustard and some power behind it. If I’m able to do that, I feel like my numbers will increase greatly as well.”
It would only serve to further increase his presence as one of the most popular players on the team.